Sports travel blog

Guide to sports travel and hotel accommodation

Ireland Vs. South Africa, Croke Park, 28th November

Posted in  Rugby by Paul on the October 28th, 2009

rugby-croke-parkIreland and South Africa have a rugby rivalry dating back to 1906, and until recently South Africa has dominated the meetings with the Irish only winning three times in 100 years. Luckily for Ireland, they have won the two most recent matches and they were both at home. Hopes are high in Ireland that victory will be theirs again as they face-off with South Africa at Croke Park Stadium November 28, 2009.

Croke Park is the largest stadium in Ireland, holding 82,300 fans. It is located in the heart of Dublin, just a 15-minute walk from the main thoroughfare of O’Connell Street. Croker, as it’s called, is also the fourth largest Stadium in Europe making it a favorite stop for big touring rock bands like U2, Tina Turner, and Bon Jovi. In May 2008, an environmentally friendly program was launched that aimed at making the stadium carbon-neutral that focuses on electricity, waste and water management.

Where To Stay

There are several hotels within walking distance to meet all travel budgets. Located opposite the stadium is the four-star Jurys Corke Park Hotel, a contemporary 232-room hotel with complimentary parking. Rooms are air-conditioned with satellite TV and high-speed internet connections. Jurys Croke is also close to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Gallery, and the airport. Less than a mile away is Ireland’s oldest hotel, the Gresham Hotel. Since 1817 visitors to Dublin have enjoyed the luxurious rooms, afternoon tea, and hearty meals. The Gresham offers old world charm with modern amenities like WiFi, interactive TV, and room service.

Half a mile from the stadium is Glen Guesthouse, a luxurious family-run hotel that is very affordable. Start your day in the sunny dining room with a complimentary Irish breakfast. The friendly staff at the Glen Guesthouse will be happy to tell you how to enjoy the sites by foot, car, or double-decker bus. The Lynams Hotel is another 3 star within walking distance of Croker. Located on O’Connell Street, this boutique hotel is housed in two Georgian Townhouses facing the Dublin Spire. It maintains its warm Georgian ambiance while offering travelers modern amenities, with breakfast served until noon.

How To Get There

Croker is located in central Dublin, in the middle of a residential area so parking is limited and priority given to residents. Fans are encouraged to use public transportation- bus, rail, DART, and LUAS all bring you less than a 15 minutes walk from the stadium. DART, LUAS, and buses provide service from around Dublin, LUAS runs additional services to facilitate Croke events. If you are driving to Dublin, it is best to park and take one of these public transportation options to get closer to the stadium. There is also rail service from all over Ireland to get to Dublin, with extra local service on game days.

England Vs. New Zealand, Twickenham, 21st November

Posted in  Rugby by Paul on the October 11th, 2009

rugby-twickenhamWhen last they met, New Zealand’s All Blacks solidly beat England at Twickenham Stadium. The All Blacks are no strangers to winning, as they are often a dominant force in world rugby. They play the game with power, pace, and precision. Under the stewardship of Martin Johnson, England hopes to repeat their 2003 victory against New Zealand on November 21, 2009.

Twickenham Stadium, or Twickers for short, is known as the home of English Rugby. Located in the London Borough or Richmond Upon Thames, it is the largest rugby stadium in the UK and seats 82,000 fans. Twickenham is home to the English Rugby union team who plays all of their home games at the stadium, and also hosts several other international and domestic rugby matches, as well as big touring rock bands like U2, The Police, and The Rolling Stones.

Where To Stay

Several hotels are within walking distance of the stadium and public transportation. The Bremic Guest House overlooks Twickers and is a great value for the money. This is a small 26-room bed and breakfast, most rooms en-suite. Just over a mile away from Twickers is the Lampton Guest House. 20 en-suite room are housed in this 5 story Victorian where you are assured a warm and friendly stay.

If you like a little more luxury when you travel, stay at the 4-star Continental Hotel. This contemporary 67-room hotel offers modern rooms with flat screen satellite TV and complimentary tea and coffee. There is a state-of-the-art Gold’s Gym on premises, free for all guests, including swimming pool, sauna, and massage. Their restaurant, Twentynine features delicious cuisine and full bar in stylish surroundings. The Riverside Hotel is located on the River Thames and it’s lounge and breakfast room offer gorgeous views of Richmond and the river. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, located near other points of interest like the Hampton Court Palace and Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

How To Get There

To get to the stadium from London, take the train from Waterloo or Reading straight to Twickenham Station.  The District Line and London Overground will take you to Richmond Station, which is also nearby. Buses are also a viable option, with a free shuttle bus to the stadium on game days. Driving to the stadium is not recommended due to the limited parking surrounding the stadium, congestion, and frequent road closure.

The All Blacks At Millennium Stadium, 7th November

Posted in  Rugby by Paul on the October 1st, 2009

Having been beaten 9 to 29 by the All Blacks last year, the Welsh will have something to prove coming into this game. Kicking off at 5:15pm local time on Saturday, November 7th, in the Millennium Stadium (which was constructed for the 1999 World Cup), this game promises to be a real competition. And to make it a more festive occasion, the Millennium Stadium will also be celebrating its 10 year anniversary. This match will be the first of the match of the Autumn International series for Wales. Negotiations are still in progress for a Bledisloe Cup between New Zealand and Australia that will be held in Tokyo at the end of October.

Where to Stay

Cardiff’s grand old Angel Hotel was built in 1833 and still retains its Victorian air. The hotel underwent a refurbishment a few years ago, which has helped to restore it to its former glory. Situated between Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium. The recently renovated Holiday Inn is one of the closest hotels to the Millennium Stadium. The hotel is located adjacent to the riverside walkway into Gate 1. From The Sandringham Hotel it is only a few minutes’ walk to the Millennium Stadium and less than a 10 minute walk to the Cardiff CIA. The Legacy Royal Hotel is situated on St Mary Street in the heart of Cardiff city centre. From here it is only a few minutes’ walk to the Millennium Stadium. The Marriott is located towards the back of Cardiff city centre within the Cafe Quarter on Mill Lane.

How To Get There

Automobile access to Millennium Stadium is through Gate 4 on Westgate Street in City Centre, Cardiff. Approaching from the east leave the M4 at J28, take the A48 and follow the signs. From the North, leave the M4 at J32, take the A470 South and follow the signs. From the West, leave the M4 at J33 and take the A4232 East and follow the signs. Parking is difficult as there is no parking within Millennium Stadium so parking will be extremely difficult.

Millennium Stadium is within five minutes walk of the Cardiff Central Railway Station and passengers can access the stadium leaving the station’s main entrance on the North side and exiting through gates 5,6 and 7 or by exiting through gates 2,3 or 4 and continuing around to gate 1 on Castle Street. Right next door it the Cardiff Central Bus Station. Passengers can access the stadium by exiting the bus station and exiting the same gates as shown for the railway station. The Cardiff Wales Airport is approximately 30 minutes away by car and the Bristol Airport is 40 minutes. You may want to take a taxi or public transport from the airport as there is no parking at the stadium.

There are many hotels within close proximity to Millenium stadium. Find yours at sports travel website MATCHhotels.com.

Credits: Thanks to BigCardiff.co.uk for the info on hotels near Millennium Stadium.

RFU: Scotland Vs. Fiji at Murrayfield, 14th November

Posted in  Rugby by Paul on the August 5th, 2009

To this day, Murrayfield holds the record for the ‘Highest Attended Rugby Match’ for 34 years at over 104,000 attendees.   It’s is an imposing stadium with rabid, screaming fans, and it’s a long way from the South Pacific. this year, in the Bank Of Scotland Corporate Autumn Tests,  Fiji  has to face Scotland in on Murrayfield. The battle is set take place on November 14th 2009 with a kick off at 2:30pm local time.

Where To Stay

There are many hotels near Murrayfield to choose from, here are but a few of your choices.

Ellersly House Hotel retains a tranquil ‘Edwardian country house’ ambiance, with it’s original character, the hotel offers a relaxing atmosphere with open fires.

Mona’s Guest House is an elegant Victorian style house in Murrayfield, within walking distance of the stadium itself. This was originally a private residence and has been beautifully restored into luxurious accommodations.

Murrayfield Hotel and Lodge is located adjacent to Murrayfield Stadium on the West side of the city. Off street, private parking is available to the rear of the property free of charge to guests. With regular public transport services to and from the city and Haymarket train station only 1 mile away.

If elegance is your thing, you have two Five star options within half a mile of Murrayfield Stadium. The Kew House and Apartments offers contemporary luxury with free secure parking and free broadband Internet connection for hotel guests. Right along side it in quality is Kingsburgh House: a Victorian villa that, while built in the 1870′s, provides all the luxurious comfort a discerning business or pleasure traveler could wish for.

How To Get There

Murrayfield is located at the West end of Edinburgh city centre, six miles from Edingurgh International Airport. It is also 3 miles from Edinburgh Waverly Railway Station and one mile from Haymarket Railway Station. It is located close to the M8 and M9 motorways and the Edinburgh City bypass. If you have questions you would like to direct toward the stadium you can email them at enquiries@murrayfieldexperience.com.

Two ‘park and ride’ sites are also available at both Hermiston and Ingliston. Hermiston runs evey ten minutes.

By car, coming from the West, take the M8 coming off at junction 2 (A8) heading for Edinburgh. At the double round about (just after the underpass), take the second exit at both parts to join Glasgow Road heading into Edinburgh. Follow the signs to Murrayfield Rugby Stadium.